Facebook Shows Off Solar-Powered Internet Drone

27 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook F8: Virtual reality will matter to you, insists Oculus chief scientist.

At today’s f8 developer conference in San Francisco, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer unveiled the social network’s first solar-powered drone (pictured), which can beam Internet access down to people from the sky. Virtual reality is not a passing fad like it has been before; it’s here to stay and will be the next big platform after mobile, argues the chief scientist at Facebook-owned virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR. “It’s more than just another platform.Update: A Facebook spokesperson has clarified that statements made during the keynote at F8 were not intended to be an announcement of availability for the consumer version of Oculus Rift. It will create a whole range of human experiences,” said Oculus’ Michael Abrash, speaking at Facebook’s Developer Conference F8. “Virtual reality done right truly is reality,” he said, showing dozens of optical illusions (including #TheDress) to illustrate the fact that how we perceive the world is simply based on inputs of lighting, sounds, smells and feelings to our “sensors” (by which he meant our sensory organs). “What is real?

But until this week’s F8 Facebook developer conference, Oculus’ new owners didn’t discuss their specific plans for the VR headset, a device that was originally pitched on Kickstarter as the next evolution in video game immersion. He also said people would be able to play games in VR on “something” shipped by Oculus. “Why is VR going to work now, when it didn’t work in the ’80s and ’90s?” asked Schroepfer. Facebook has already completed its first test flight with the new aircraft in the U.K. “The idea is to loiter across area at a high altitude, for months at a time, and beam down Internet access,” according to Schroepfer, who promised more information about the aircraft later this year. “Aircraft like these will help connect the whole world because they can affordably serve the 10 percent of the world’s population that live in remote communities without existing internet infrastructure,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.

If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.” His point was that virtual reality doesn’t have to fully replicate the real world, it merely has to provide the right “inputs to satisfy the right sensors”. A year ago, Facebook acquired the five-person team at U.K.-based Ascenta, which worked on early versions of Zephyr, the longest-flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft. That’s why people who try on the Oculus Rift headset feel vertigo when they look over a virtual cliff – our brain is tricked into thinking we are actually standing on an edge. The example shown during F8 featured spherical interactive videos – shot with 24 high-resolution cameras – giving users the ability to explore cities in 360-degrees directly on Facebook. Like Twitter, Baidu, Google, and other companies, Facebook has been adding on artificial-intelligence talent and developing systems for a type of AI called deep learning.

The company also says it’s experimenting with a live version of this concept and that the technology could potentially be applied to allow online communication between multiple people, similar to Apple’s FaceTime platform. Additionally, he expects advancements in mapping technologies will allow for users to stand up and move around, further enhancing the perception of presence in VR worlds. Abrash also backpedalled on Schroepfer’s earlier comments on the availability of Oculus hardware, saying only that consumer-ready VR headsets would arrive “soon” and could take “a year or two” before they’re ready for the type of realistic VR experiences that trick the brain into perceiving them as real. Abrash suggested that Facebook’s job in creating a good VR system is to create illusions to trick our brains into seeing something that appears real. During F8, Facebook also revealed the company’s popular Messenger platform will expand to features beyond text and images, turning the platform into a comprehensive service, allowing customers to store receipts, shipping information, and also encourage developers to add new functionality to the service.

Abrash acknowledged that developing VR tech is hard, and requires a long-term commitment, but said Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus will help propel the technology. In his talk, Schroepfer said he always gets questions about why Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion. “We are just meeting the minimum viable bar of presence now,” he said. “We are going to connect the world and build systems that fundamentally bring people together.” Oculus has been showing demos for a couple of years, and each one is getting progressively more interesting. Instead of selling the Crescent Bay tech as a development kit, Oculus has switched its team of hundreds of engineers to focus on developing final products. After Facebook acquired Oculus VR, it began adding resources to the team and widening the kinds of apps that could be used with virtual reality beyond gaming.

Jason Rubin, head of worldwide studios at Oculus, told VentureBeat at South by Southwest (SXSW) that interactive cinematic VR and massive multiplayer universes will be coming to Oculus Rift. Yesterday, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg gave the keynote speech at F8 and showed a demo of a non-game VR app, Facebook Teleportation, which streams live video of a location and allows the viewer to look around in 360 degrees to see different parts of the scene. “We live in a 3D world,” he said. “Your brain does interpretations for you,” such as converting an image from 2D to 3D so that it looks like something you’ll recognize. Oculus also shared demos of games and interactive movies that it showed previously at the Game Developers Conference and 2015 International CES events. In other words, the brain creates optical illusions that we can understand, even if the objects we’re viewing are not really what we think they are.

Here you can write a commentary on the recording "Facebook Shows Off Solar-Powered Internet Drone".

* Required fields
All the reviews are moderated.
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts


ICQ: 423360519

About this site